[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 28, 2008
Training

Range safety briefing available 
online to Soldiers

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      Military units or other personnel planning to use ranges or training areas at Fort McCoy during upcoming training now can use the Internet or compact discs (CDs)  to get up to speed on safety information before coming to the installation.

Photo: Spc. Joseph Johnson from Company B of the 201st Engineer Battalion, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit, fires an MK-19 Grenade Launcher at Range 26. The unit is conducting mobilization training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Spc. Joseph Johnson from Company B of the 201st Engineer Battalion, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit, fires an MK-19 Grenade Launcher at Range 26. The unit is conducting mobilization training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Tom Michele)

      Mike Kelley, a Fort McCoy Range Safety specialist for the directorate of Emergency Services (DES)/Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), said the new Range Safety Training Briefing/test has been available on the Internet or on a CD since March 3.

      "We designed the briefing so units can complete their safety requirements at their home station before they come to Fort McCoy," Kelley said. "This saves them the time of having to complete it here, and they can spend more time on training. It also reduces the time we (DPTMS) have to spend doing this training so we can use this time to accomplish other activities."

      Units that wish to use ranges/training areas at Fort McCoy are required to have personnel certified to run these facilities. Kelley said the personnel are designated by commanders.

      The certification process has three parts, he said.

      First, the responsible unit personnel will watch the safety briefing via the Internet or from a CD that is available from Fort McCoy. The training includes all the necessary information, including access links to Department of the Army Regulation and Pamphlet 385-63, Range Safety, and Fort McCoy Regulation 350-1, the Training Regulation.

      Second, personnel must pass a 25-question test about the briefing on a pass/no-go basis by answering all of the questions correctly.

      Third, unit commanders must certify these personnel have correctly answered all of the questions. Kelley said unit commanders will appoint range safety officers and officers in charge (warrant or commissioned officers or noncommissioned officers) to help run the training facilities/ranges who are knowledgeable about their duties and any weapons systems involved in the training.

      "The test is done with an open book, so personnel can find the right answers to all of the questions," Kelley said. "This will encourage them to do more reading on our safety policies and increase their overall knowledge of training safety."

       "(They can use the information) to help prevent any potential accidents and enhance safety at the ranges," he said.

      The briefing runs 30 minutes. Eventually, the safety information will include short sections about LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emitted Radiation), indirect fire and demolition safety, he said.

      The safety briefing is available on the Fort McCoy Extranet (via the installation's public Web site at 
http://www.mccoy.army.mil) to anyone who has an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account.

      For those personnel who need to access the training and don't have an AKO account, such as other military services besides the Army or law enforcement agencies, they can obtain a CD from the Fort McCoy DPTMS by contacting Range Scheduling at (608) 388-3721/3713.

      Kelley said the certification is valid for one year. Personnel who wait to take the training at Fort McCoy will not be allowed on the ranges or training facilities until they have completed the training and passed the test.

 

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